On A Mission From God
Below our website’s “FAQ” tab includes a list of primer articles about making coffee. The top, and most important, article is Best Coffee Equipment. In this article, I list all of my favorite coffee making equipment. Over the years, that article has been read by thousands of people. Then recently, a customer of ours pointed out that all but one of my recommendations were made by slave labor in China.
“The heck you say!” After a few hours of internet research, I had to admit, he was 100% correct. I thought, “No problem, I’ll just go find some coffee equipment made in the USA.” Easier said than done. After about 60 hours of research, I found all of 3 items; a hand grinder, one coffee mug, and just one brewer.
As the Blues Brothers said, “We’re on a mission from God!” I am now determined to find all things coffee made in the USA. If you know of one, please let me know.
Coffee Grinder Options
As coffee grinders (mills) go, there are several options.
- Food Processor
- Plastic Bag & Hammer
- Two Rocks
Ahh… you think I jest with a few of those options. Nope. I’ve used all of these options. Truth be told, several were because I forgot to bring my coffee grinder and had to improvise.
If you can see the blades, then it’s what I call a “blade grinder”. The only thing good I can say about a blade grinder is that it’s cheaper than a burr grinder. Even though these pathetic grinders will only put you back $20-$40, even a plastic bag and hammer or pounding the beans between two rocks will work better than a blade grinder.
Why are these grinder so bad? Because they produce grounds that are simultaneously super fine, fine, medium, medium course, and course; all at the same time; all in the same bowl, i.e., the grind is very inconsistent.
Secondly, white coffee beans (just a super light roast) are notoriously hard. Which means that white coffee beans will burn up a grinder in a matter of minutes. Which brings up the point that these grinders seldom last more than a year. Blade grinders are basically disposable. And of course, because these are ridiculously simple to manufacture, to date, I have yet to find one made in the USA.
A “burr” grinder is not a brand name. It has to do with the technology. This technology has been around for thousands of years. You’ll find burr grinders for grinding coffee, grinding spices, grinding salt, grinding pepper, etc. Nothing new here, just tried and true tech. Visualize two steel plates separated by a small measured space. One plate is stationary and other one is spinning. Between these two plates would be your beans. Since the space between the plates are measured and set, your grind is very consistent.
Burr grinders come in two basic forms; flat plates and conical (think of one ice cream cone inside of another). Experts claim that the conical is best. I have both a flat plate and a conical, and frankly, I really can’t tell the difference.
Manual vs. Electric
Electric Burr grinders are easier, but are they better than manual. I personally believe that the electric burr grinders spin too fast, thus making the grounds very slightly inconsistent. I believe that a manual burr grinder produces “slightly” more consistent grounds. Then again, I’m a pretty practical kind of man, so would I select a manual over an electric just because the manual burr grinder produces “slightly” better grounds? No not really. Either one will work fine.
I prefer the manual grinder, which I use daily, because I have a little more control over the process. Besides, using my muscles to drive the burr grinder helps me to justify that splash of cream. Additionally, using the manual grinder is a big part of my daily coffee ritual.
One last good point for the manual is that it’s a whole lot quieter than the electric. Most often, I wake up before Alisha does and she can’t hear my manual burr grinder, but the electric burr grinder will wake the dead.
Made In USA vs. Made In China
First of all, China is our enemy. They are hell bent on world domination. Why our politicians and companies like Amazon and Charbucks have done everything in their power to move our manufacturing over to our enemies is beyond my comprehension.
Every day, we receive emails from people all across our country who are saying “I’m sick and tired of it and I won’t take any more!” They are starting a groundswell of patriots that are voting with their dollars. They are voting for small, local, family run businesses like ours. Sure, Americans should buy from Americans first, but what these small companies provide is something that the large industrial companies can’t and that’s American Made quality and customer support that truly cares.
Red Rooster Trading Company Manual Coffee Mill
I’ve tried quite a few manual burr grinders. I’ve only found one that is worth the effort of manually grinding your coffee. That would be the Red Rooster Trading Company’s Camano Coffee Mill. This coffee mill is a force to be reckoned with. It is built like a German Tank with the beauty and movement of a Swiss watch.
As you can see in the picture, you can just imagine your Great-Grandmother using this coffee mill. It even has a universal “Ball” jar on the bottom. The workmanship is unlike anything that I’ve ever purchased. The powder coating alone, makes this mill absolutely beautiful. This coffee mill screams “Made In USA!”
Of course you can adjust the grind from super fine (For Turkish Coffee) all the way to course ground (For Cold Brew). Not surprisingly, the grounds are exceptionally consistent. Lastly, for a manual grinder, it’s pretty easy to use. My 91 year old mother could easily use the Camano Coffee Mill.
Lake City Coffee
When Alisha and I started Lake City Coffee, our focus has been to provide the smoothest and most flavorful coffee that you’re likely to find anywhere. Take one look at our “Reviews” page and you’ll see that we’ve succeeded very well.
We hope that you’ll give our coffee a try and if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us.